Here’s a fascinating story from David E. Gumpert’s The Complete Patient blog about rumblings leading up to Sunday’s raw milk symposium to be hosted by the American Veterinary Medical Association in Seattle. An excerpt:
“I thought this symposium on raw milk Sunday sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association (described in my previous post) would be a tame affair. But food poison lawyer Bill Marler has signaled he’s coming with machine guns blazing. He posted his PowerPoint presentation planned for Sunday on his blog (click on the blue page below the introductory text to launch the PowerPoint presentation), and three slides in particular suggest he has trained his legal guns on the Weston A. Price Foundation.
After running through a tutorial on the legalities of liability for raw milk illnesses (comparative fault, liability waivers, etc.) slide 13 is headed, “Trade Association Liability” and says, “The crux of trade association liability is whether consumers rely on the association’s information and expertise.”
The next slide, #14, is headed, “The ‘Price’ of Weston A. Price’s Prominence” and a copy of the foundation’s Real Milk page is shown.
Just for good measure, slide #15 argues that cow share agreements (promoted by the foundation) “seek to avoid bans on unlicensed sale of raw milk” and are “not a valid interpretation of many states’ licensing requirements.” Pouring more oil on the fire, slide #16 recaps the “case just finished” in which two Marler clients sued Organic Pastures Dairy Co.
Marler has apparently taken offense previously about suggestions on the Weston A. Price Foundation’s site that raw milk is healthy for children. Now he seems to be suggesting the foundation can be potentially held liable for illnesses to children under “trade association liability.”
Guess I have two immediate questions: Is this a new front in the FDA/CDC/state ag agency political war on raw milk? In other words, “trade association liability” becomes a new front in the war to put a lid on the raw dairy supply that includes harassing dairy farmers with phantom findings of listeria, intimidating them with bogus search warrants, and breaking up buying clubs….”
More on the AMVA Raw Milk Symposium from Amanda Rose, the sole raw milk consumer advocate participating in the event. This is excerpted from her blog “Rebuld — the blog”:
“I head to Seattle late next week to participate in a symposium on raw milk, “The Raw Milk Conundrum,” sponsored by the American Veterinary Medical Association. I am neither a veterinarian or a member of the medical community, but I do like Seattle. I am also the only raw milk consumer on the panel and am speaking on free choice. The paper, “Free choice in a complex information environment: The case of raw milk” hopefully will take a whole lot less time to make it to print than did my book currently at the printer. (She says with great hope but with not having finished the paper yet.)
The paper makes an argument for “free access” to food as well as “free choice,” where “access” is the legal barriers to purchase and “choice” is the actual decision to buy a particular product. It is not an advocacy paper, rather it discusses a philosophy of food choice. Stay tuned.
The paper makes some use of a survey I conducted of raw milk advocates. You can find some of the demographic information at the FoodGraphs.net site. (Raw milk advocate graphs.)…”